a sparrow with her nestlings

things that induce half-heartedness - Long periods of seclusion. Preparations for something still far into the future. Attempting conversation with someone who speaks so softly that in order to hear every word, you would have to strain against the hum and chatter of the room. Rising early in the morning to a day that is dreary. 

things people despise - The speeches made by men of a particular disposition, for whom a podium or microphone or raised platform seems an invitation to announce their puffed and waterlogged opinions on topics about which they hold limited wisdom. 

Being made to stand for long periods of time without rest. Being cheated at certain types of games. 

When something - or someone - gives the appearance of being steadfast, reliable, unchanging and then suddenly fails you, it reminds you that nothing lasts. 

infuriating things - A guest who arrives too early, while you are still making urgent preparations, and who hovers near you, chattering. You are walking quickly down the street on your way to an important appointment and you remember you have left a letter that you wanted to mail at home on your desk and now it will be another day before you can send it. 

You are working in your garden on your knees and a foolish person approaches you to make inane conversation. “Why do you like to dig in the dirt?” he asks, and “Why are you working so hard?”

It’s quite infuriating to work very hard and very long at a thing and not to see progress quickly. To see that you have limited skills at something that you very much love to do can be infuriating and also bring sadness. 

An infant who cries when you are trying to hear something. The noise of an airplane flying overhead. Insects, particularly in the evening in the summer, when it is still warm and still light enough to remain outdoors, to keep the wine flowing and the conversation intimate and hushed, if not for the persistence of the winged insects feeding off your tender summer skin. 

The man you are with speaks admiringly of past lovers. Of their beauty or of the ways in which they performed certain acts of love. This can be infuriating although there are some situations in which it doesn’t bother you at all. 

When someone you love with devotion loves you only inconstantly, unpredictably.  When you are compelled to face the limitations of love. 

things that make your heart beat fast - A sparrow with her nestlings. The scent of lavender on a warm summer breeze. Or of honeysuckle. To wash your hair and skin with well-scented soap. Even if no one will see you or be near you, you can still feel a heady sense of pleasure. 

Walking past a place where small children are playing, their laughter ringing high in the afternoon stillness. 

Paintings hung in a light-filled room. A field of vibrant color against the starkness of a white wall. The figure of a mythical creature carved from stone. To press your cheek against the cool stone can make your heart beat fast.  

On a night when you are waiting for someone special to come and the lights are dim and you are standing near the window, near enough to watch for him, but where you cannot be seen as he approaches, so as not to appear so eager, but you are waiting and your skin is perfumed and your heart beats so fast you can hardly stand still.